The Cougars’ run to the American title game caught everyone up to speed on the talent of senior shooting guard Rob Gray. But the reason UH is a top-25 team is because it has good – not great – balance on both ends. It rarely has a really bad game on offense or a poor effort on defense. Beatable, but seldom beats itself.
33% chance of making it to the Sweet 16
I find it interesting that Wichita State whom we beat twice is ranked 4 places higher and Cincy who barely beat us by one point is ranked 7. SDSU is ranked 53 to our 23 and yet thinks they are going to run all over us.
I’ll be honest here. I’m extremely nervous. Not because I don’t think our team is good, but because it’s been so long since (a) we’ve been in the tourney, and (b) even longer since we were a favorite in the first round. I’ve endured so much frustration and heartache since becoming a UH fan in the early 90s (I was 4 when PSJ lost in the finals) that I get nervous when we finally get a chance to do something special. I’m so ecstatic that we’re in that I’m not sure I can handle a 1st round exit should that happen.
This team has the heart needed to advance. We’ve seen some incredibly fun March games over the years when a team with heart encounters a bit of luck. I’m hoping that happens to this long-overdue team this year.
There are no easy games in the Tourney unless one of the teams just shows up and doesn’t compete.
FWIW, Bleacher Report ranks the following: Cinci (14); Houston (17) and Wichita St. (18).
Errr…should be ‘full’ 68
Cincy at 14 does sound like bull.
Assuming the ranking is correct for both Cincy (7) and WSU (19), then we should be ranked at (13), which halfway between them. Hopefully the team will prove my confidence by beating both SDS and Michigan. Time for Womp Womp to rock the nation.
They agree with us about being right by Michigan and SDSU
Dark horse: Does Gonzaga count here? If not, and you’re looking for a sneaky Final Four bid out of the West, look no further than sixth-seeded Houston. The Cougars pushed Cincinnati to the brink in the American Athletic championship game Sunday, showing a national audience just how stifling this team’s defense can be. Houston is a solid favorite to beat San Diego State in round one; in Wichita, they’d also be playing comparably closer to home against Michigan in round two. From there, UNC likely awaits, but our model gives the Cougars a 33 percent chance of getting that far — and, as a result, a 7 percent chance of making the Final Four.
Don’t bet on: No. 3 seed Michigan. It’s an unfortunate draw for a team heading into the tourney playing as well as just about anybody in the country (the Wolverines actually rank third in our pre-tournament Elo ratings, behind only Virginia and Villanova), but the selection committee did Michigan zero favors here. First-round opponent Montana is unusually strong for a No. 14 seed — check out the sea of 10, 11 and 12 seeds around them in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings — and likely second-round foe Houston was underseeded as a No. 6, too. Then, if the Wolverines survive opening weekend, they’ll probably be treated to a rematch of their 15-point loss to UNC from late November. Michigan has fought through similarly tough tourney paths before, but right now we give them only a 14 percent shot at a Final Four berth.
Cinderella Watch: Sadly, this isn’t a very promising region for Cinderella bids. For instance, No. 11 seed San Diego State is the kind of good, solid team (it ranks 50th in Kenpom’s ratings) that you’d ordinarily pencil in for an upset or two, but Houston and Michigan are too difficult to realistically expect a Sweet 16 berth from the Aztecs. And the other teams in classic upset seeds — 10th-seeded Providence and 12th-seeded South Dakota State — are each the weakest at their seed-line in the whole field. Blah.
Likeliest round-one upsets: Florida State over Missouri (61 percent); Providence over Texas A&M (42 percent)
As an extreme example, if one team goes 12-2 in a conference and both losses are to a team that went 2-12, which team would you rate higher? Maybe we had a better day than Wichita State 2 out of 3 games. Maybe we match up well with Wichita State. I think they had the better season overall because their only sub 100 RPI loss was to SMU before SMU lost Milton. So technically the worst team they lost to all season was to Notre Dame on a neutral court by 1 and Temple on the road by 2. That is pretty impressive.
I think UH would be higher than WSU if they had a low post player like WSU. WSU checks boxes you need for the tourney: size, low post play and solid PG. Also, they have tourney experience and handling those expectations and pressures.
This is one of those years that you can throw out the rankings from #3 to #12 because very little separates them this season.
shcokers played cal, notre dame, marqutte, Baylor, Oklahoma state and Oklahoma in addition to the coogs and cincy.
imo, they played a better schedule than cincy and also Gonzaga. easy to see why they are seeded higher.
This is accurate for SDSU, if they are talking about resumes. But how good they are right now is far different. SDSU has been playing great.The Aztecs led #25 Nevada 55-25 at the half in the MWC tournament. It was the most dominant half I have seen. A week earlier we beat MWC leading scoring team 94-56.
Aztecs KENPOM defensive rating went from #79 to #39 in 9 games. Defense is the biggest factor in the Aztecs turn around.